Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Video Games and Computers Win!

Video games and computers won the "Boys' Favorite Toy" poll!

A lot of people would bemoan this result. After all, video games and computers have been blamed for everything from increased child obesity to shortened attention spans to a lack of connection to the outside world.

I'll be the first to admit that I, too, have worried about the amount of time my boys spend playing video and computer games. But whenever I worry, I look at the big picture and see that my boys are doing fine. They ARE connected with nature. They DO go outside to play. They're active and fit and connected with the world around them.

So now, I consider computer and video games just another learning tool. That doesn't mean that the boys only play explicitly educational video games; it means that I've opened my mind to see what they are learning and accomplishing with every game they play. Sometimes it's facts or information; other times, it's stategy and critical thinking. Sometimes, it's fun and entertainment.

Favorite games in our house right now include Command and Conquer, a long, long, LONG time favorite (they just keep coming back to this one!) and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga for Wii.

What are some of the favorite games in your house, and what do you see your boys learning from video and computer games?


  1. Nolan is definitely a Lego Star Wars Wii junkie! If I let him, he'd play many, many hours a day. In fact, he and a friend just came over to our house (where they were happily playing other games at the friend's house before) to play this. Hmmm, I may have to get this game for his friend, so they can play it there instead of here, and I can turn a blind eye!!

  2. Star Wars games have *always* been popular here (maybe to do with the fact that I'm a HUGE sci-fi geek and started him on the movies when he was one ;)

    He's also a huge WWII buff, so all games related are popular (including a flight simulator computer game). His favorite WWII video games(XBox360) include archival photos and newsreels. I was skeptical as to how much he was learning from them until we took him to a WWII museum and he stunned the volunteer vets there with how much he knew about everything.

    He also likes all of the Sid Meier and Civilization computer games and Lord of the Ring video games.

  3. My ds is a bit older than yours (15 1/2) but he loves computers. He has learned how to code websites, computer games and many other things. He has done this all on his own from reading books at the library and coming home and just doing it. And knowing that computers are the future, he's going to go a long way.

  4. I could go on for HOURS about MY favorite games! I'm particularly partial to Major League Baseball 2K5, 2K6, 2K7, and 2K8:) - Greg

  5. ....and I do believe you can learn a TON from video games. The Sim City and Civilization games are quite educational, as are a lot of the WWII shooter games (if your kids are old enough to handle the violence these games contain).

    Also, playing such games can lead to careers in the gaming industry which has surpassed the movie industry in revenues in just 30 years of existence.